Talk

Advanced search

DH really let me down - toxic male friend

(60 Posts)
originaldiv Mon 13-Jul-20 14:33:53

Hoping for a bit of advice here on whether I am being a dick and should just let this go or not but I am really annoyed with DH about something that happened on Saturday night.
DH has a friendship group of 4 guys. He is really sweet guy, never aggressive, feminist and ‘woke’ etc but perhaps as a payoff for this he is somewhat of a doormat. One of the guys in the group is a complete arsehole - he is always the one that everyone panders to (for no reason that I can see) as he is difficult and petulant - wants his own way all the time / goes in moods / is unkind to people and sexist. I’ve been out for a drink with him and DH and friend’s gf (who has since had a baby) and it was ok but I got the impression that DH wanted me to get friend to like me as he did not like his ex gf.
So DH has been recently trying to suggest activities that friend would like to do with him and each time he has just said ‘nah that’s boring’ or just plain ‘no’ and DH will still go back with something else as a suggestion (the other 2 guys don’t live near us). When he told me this I was a bit annoyed that he was allowing this guy to take the piss out of him and all the effort was DH’s. Anyway he then said that he wanted to invite him round to have a drink on Saturday in the garden. Fine by me - he has never been to our house before in the 3 years we have been together despite regular invitations and the fact he now has a kid and we have 4 - I think DH was hoping he might want to spend a bit more time with him now there were kids on both sides - but no. He still keeps trying anyway despite this guy’s awful attitude.
He hadn’t heard anything from him about whether or not he would be coming over but then around 2pm he texted and said ‘what time you picking me up?’ There was never an offer to pick him up but whatever. DH brought him here and we all sat in the garden and had a chat and a beer. He marches into the garden where we had a speaker and said ‘I’ll take over the music from here’. I looked over at DH and then I said ‘erm will you?’ DH saw my reaction but didn’t really say much: the whole time he was there went like this.
He made disgusting jokes about perving on unsuspecting women, he talked about how pathetic his gf was and said that she always begs him to marry her and he mimicked her (she’s not English so did it in this awful mocking accent) saying ‘please I will give you everything your own way!’ He laughed and said ‘I already get everything my own way!’
He said he didn’t love her
He said that my DH brought girls back when he stayed at his for a few days once (not when he was with me) but clearly trying to cause trouble for him - then he changed it to 2 girls not 1.. I said to him 2 girls? And he said ‘you don’t think he’s only been with YOU do you?! Hahaha’ when what I meant was 2 girls at the same time which I know DH has never partaken in.
He said that my husband behaves completely differently when he is not with me and implied that I don’t know the real him
He slagged off one of the other guys in the group and said he hated him
I objected to another women hating joke and he laughed and said ‘do you really think (DH) doesn’t laugh at and make this kind of joke when he’s not with you??? Haha come on!!’ I replied that no, I don’t believe he does, he laughed at me like I was deluded.
He made sexual jokes in front of the children
He said ‘you don’t really know him! I’ve been with him for 30 years!’ I kind of laughed at this phrasing becaause it sounded like he was competing with me!
There is more but this is the main stuff - all the time DH sat there silent.
I ended up having an argument with the guy and getting pretty wound up, my friend came over from across the road and was just sitting there in shock at what he was saying. I belittled him and said he is like a 14 yo boy but in fact that is an insult to 14 yo boys because I have a 14 yo ds who I have brought up to respect women and he wouldn’t even behave like this.
After I argued back with him he said he was going to the toilet and left the house.
NB - I was not there all the time, when my friend came I was mostly sitting in the kitchen with her but a couple of times we went out and sat in the garden as the kids were on the trampoline.
So once he’d gone I was pretty angry with DH, I feel like he completely let me down - he said the reason he didn’t say anything was because I was more than a match for him and didn’t look like I needed any help. But has since apologised for saying that.
I asked him what he was going to do about it. He said he was thinking about it - I left him alone and didn’t bring it up yesterday as I wanted him to make his own decision rather than tell him what to do but by last night I was so fucking angry that he hadn’t said anything that I had a go at him and so he sent a text (it was good and he told him that his behaviour was unacceptable etc) surprisingly he sent back an ‘apology’ but it consisted of him saying he doesn’t remember anything he said and was just pissed. So not really an apology at all IMO.

dh is really annoying me - I felt he completely failed to protect me from this toxic male and even now is acting like this guy has made amends in a way. Apart from the fact that he was drunk - this is who he is. He hates women. He is an insecure disgusting person who put any attempt for women to defend themselves as being a nag/making their partner ‘under the thumb’. I want DH to be angry with him and I want to feel like he finds the behaviour abhorrent but he basically doesn’t - he’s defending him in my eyes by not being like that. I tried to keep my mouth shut but I just couldn’t. He was making jokes about women’s arseholes and gay men and shouting in the garden about a lesbian couple a few houses away who have just had a baby. It was so embarrassing and I just don’t get why DH even wants this pathetic excuse in his life as as far as I am concerned he is the opposite of this man in every way.

This morning we have argued about it again - he said what do you want me to do start throwing things and breaking stuff in anger? I said it sounded like I only have 2 choices; apathy and weakness or violence (I was in an abusive relationship for 20 years before this so that really hurt).
He says he is ‘conditioned’ because he has known him since school but that no he is ‘not happy’ with him. AIBU to expect more from him - at least for him to express some anger at his behaviour. I feel really upset that I didn’t just tell the idiot to leave or something but it’s more that DH has really lost a lot of respect from me. I suppose you only see someone’s true colours when a rare situation like this occurs (thankfully not often!). Any advice?

OP’s posts: |
Polyxena Mon 13-Jul-20 14:41:56

Fucking hell. He sounds like my DH’s ex-friend. He’s an ex-friend because he was a sexist, racist cunt who continually tried to get DH in trouble with me and behaved appallingly to his GF. Why on earth does your DH want such an awful person in his life?

namechange12a Mon 13-Jul-20 14:43:45

Not worth getting in a froth about. You two don't get on and he sounds like a prick. Don't go out with him again and don't have him in the house when you're there. He sounds incredibly obnoxious but what do you want your husband to do? Challenge him to a duel?

originaldiv Mon 13-Jul-20 14:49:13

Thanks for the replies. No it's not like I want him to challenge him to a duel - I just want him to care and be a little bit protective.
I wouldn't let one of my friends treat him like that. I wouldn't just sit there while someone belittled and humiliated him or tried to make him think I was a shit person.

Whether or not he does anything wrt the relationship is up to him - I just wanted to see that he was bothered - it felt like the fact that he messaged him was because I was 'forcing' him to shut me up almost.

I feel like it's made me look at him differently I suppose

OP’s posts: |
Fatted Mon 13-Jul-20 14:51:29

Your DH's friend sounds disgusting.

But what would you like your DH to do exactly? He can have nothing more to do with this idiot without a big massive fallout or huge public declaration of annoyance at him. He can just simply ignore him, which is what he sounds like he is doing. You are within your rights to insist he doesn't come to your home again. But it's then for your DH to deal with the friendship.

It also sounds like your DH is a bit of a doormat with you as well.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 13-Jul-20 14:58:27

Your DH needs to read the following too:-

What did you learn about relationships when you were growing up?.
Where are your boundaries at here?. You seem also mired in FOG re this man and that as well as the sunken costs fallacy is costing you dearly, not just to say your wife who has been caught up in all his dysfunctional shit behaviour too.

Toxic friends can actually be harder to recognize. We tend to be axiomatic – we’d never be friends with abusers, therefore our friends aren’t abusive. We may excuse their behaviour as “that’s just how (name) is…”. We may choose to overlook the fact that our friends are toxic because of the sunk cost fallacy – we’ve known them for so long that we can’t really let them go.

But those toxic friends are destroying your self-esteem, ruining your happiness and in many cases actively holding you back. If you’re miserable, it may be time to look around and make sure you haven’t surrounded yourself with toxic friends.

Your social circle, after all, is supposed to be a source of happiness, support and healthy validation. Good friends help prop you up when you’re down, help you celebrate your successes, mourn your losses with you, cheer you on and – ideally – help you pick up the pieces when you’ve fucked up.

Toxic friends ruin your self-esteem and leave you feeling lower than low. They drain the life from you and leave you feeling miserable – especially about yourself and the things you love. Toxic friends will convince you that you are the problem. They’ll reinforce every self-limiting belief you have and encourage the worst sides of you… and more often than not, they’ll deliberately hold you back. They’re the friends who will try to convince someone who’s quit drinking to fall off the wagon or a happily committed friend to ditch their relationship. After all, why would they want to give up on their favorite punching bag? Who else is going provide them with validation?. Who can they inflict their drama on?. Toxic people can’t abuse somebody someone with self-esteem and healthy boundaries, so it’s important to them to make sure that you never develop any.

When your social circle develops a case of toxic friend, it can be hard to actually get rid of them. On the whole, established social groups tend to be conflict averse. Often there are few crimes worse than “causing drama” – creating conflicts within the group and making everybody uncomfortable. People can be quick to try to shut it down – labeling the person a “drama queen”, telling them they’re being irrational or that they’re “making a mountain out of a molehill. The problem is that, more often than not, the person accused of “causing drama” is the one who is reacting to it. They’re not causing the conflict so much as pointing out that it exists in the first place. This can be incredibly uncomfortable, even in the most well-meaning of social circles. Often, people’s default response to discomfort is to try to ignore it and hope it goes away. They wrap the nugget of discontent in layers of denial and “well that’s just (name), you know how he is,” like a passive-aggressive pearl in the socially-uncomfortable oyster. This never actually solves the problem; it simply makes it easier to pretend that it doesn’t exist. And for many people, that’s almost the same thing.

The problem is that social circles – especially geeky ones – tend to be loathe to exclude people. This is one of the classic geek social fallacies – that ostracizers are inherently bad and trying to exclude someone (no matter how deserved) is just wrong. Pointing out that someone is toxic means having to do something about it, but to actually get rid of them would be wrong… It can be even worse when it’s a group of people within your social circle. Then you aren’t just causing drama with one person, you’re forcing people to pick sides and everyone knows that friends don’t do that. As a result: there is a great deal of pressure to stay quiet and not say anything.

The best defense against toxic friends having influence in your life is to establish and maintain strong boundaries. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to enforce your boundaries with people you consider your friends. You might not feel as though you have the right or the authority to stand up to them. If you’ve absorbed their bullshit for long enough, you might feel that you deserve what they’re doing to you. You may think that they’re right and “only trying to help”. When you do start to show signs of enforcing your boundaries with them, they may try to frame things as though you’re being unreasonable.

Good. Be unreasonable!!. You don’t need to justify or explain why you’re enforcing your boundaries. Do not JADE (justify, argue, defend or explain) such a person. Your refusing to let other people stomp all over your self-worth is not up for public debate or open to discussion. You and you alone get to decide where the line is and who gets to cross it.

Sometimes enforcing your boundaries means telling the person to stop and not letting them continue with their shitty behavior. But sometimes enforcing your boundaries means that you need to simply walk away from the relationship entirely.

We talk a lot about breaking up with our girlfriends or boyfriends, our husbands and wives… but frequently we don’t realize we can break up with our friends too. And, unfortunately, sometimes it’s necessary.

It can be incredibly difficult. Ending a relationship is hard, but in many ways, ending a friendship can be harder. You may feel as though this means you’ve “failed” somehow. You may have a hard time of letting go of a relationship that’s lasted for months or even years. You may worry that this is going to mean that you’re going to have to give up your entire social circle or end up having no friends at all.

These are all valid and reasonable fears. Letting go of a long-term relationship, platonic or otherwise, is scary. Sometimes cutting a toxic person out of your life does mean being willing to start over completely and having to find a new social circle. Sometimes those toxic friends are skilled manipulators. They will make you out to be the bad guy in the situation and use that pressure to try to make you feel unreasonable and to give in. They may use the threat of turning your friends against you to try to scare you out of walking away.

But as scary and intimidating as it can be, ending the friendship is worth it. Your self-esteem, your mental and emotional health is far more valuable than putting up with someone who tries to undermine you at every turn.

Just having been friends with someone for a long time doesn’t justify continuing to keep them in your life if they’re toxic. This is known as the sunk-cost fallacy – you’ve been friends with them for so long that you really can’t let go now, even though they make you miserable. In fact, many toxic friends will rely on this as a way of keeping you around and under their sphere of influence. In a lot of ways, it’s better to leave a group if being with them means letting one of them – or several of them – abuse you. You can always try and maintain your friendships with the individuals who are real friends. Sometimes that’s not possible and you end up having to start from scratch again – an incredibly intimidating prospect for many people.

You will find other, better, real friends out there – ones who actually treat you as a friend instead of a chew toy and punching bag. Having and maintaining those strong boundaries will help keep the toxic friends at bay. You’ll find that you feel better, that your life is better over all. Life’s too short to let people steal joy from you. Take your life back. Take your self-esteem back. Firm up your boundaries and dump your toxic friend once and for all.

Your wife will also thank you for doing that too.

Happynow001 Mon 13-Jul-20 14:59:24

Why does your husband volunteer to be such a doormat around this guy? And why would he have such a lack of respect for you and his children that he would invite this scumbag into your family home?

It's good that you stood up for yourself but sad that your husband behaved so weakly and with so little self-respect. Perhaps you should have nothing further to do with DH's "friend" and tell DH not to invite him back again. What would happen if you said this?

AdultFishcakes Mon 13-Jul-20 15:05:27

You’re upset because your DH didn’t have your back when you were getting shit from this absolute weasel (an insult to weasels, sorry).

That’s it in a nutshell. And you need to find out why and what your DH intends to do.

Leave it at that. His response will tell you all you need to know.

Kassandra1 Mon 13-Jul-20 15:13:40

The friend sounds horrendous and I dont blame you for having a go -sounds like he needs it!

But I struggle to see what you want from your DH? "To be protective" is an odd turn of phrase, are you protective of him when he has disagreements with women?

You sound like a smart, confident woman and I dont know that you need a man to "be protective" of you.

Hope the friend learns his lesson!

NeverHadANickname Mon 13-Jul-20 15:18:04

I would expect DH to have nothing to do with a person like this. This man will likely feel like your DH condones his behavior because he has never challenged him about it before and is still his friend. Why is he still his friend and bothering with him? Is he not disgusted by the way his friend behaves?

Aquamarine1029 Mon 13-Jul-20 15:24:27

Your husband is pathetic. I would have lost all respect for him after that shit show. Does he have no standards?

GilbertMarkham Mon 13-Jul-20 15:36:59

Your husband sounds incredibly passive and door mat-y.

But with four kids s d everything else presumably ok, I doubt you're going anywhere so either go hardline and tell.him to fade on him, or go easy and say he can see him if he wants but not in your home it in company with you.

His poor poor gf.

GilbertMarkham Mon 13-Jul-20 15:37:47

*or in company with you

dottiedodah Mon 13-Jul-20 15:41:04

He sounds utterly vile to me .I wonder if your DH is a little scared of him maybe ? If they have been friends for 30 years ,sounds like he still has some growing up to do if he still sounds like a teenage boy! Just say to DH you dont want anything to do with him and he is not coming over yours again!

YouJustDoYou Mon 13-Jul-20 16:02:09

Jesus. Well, that's one toxic pathetic little fuck that wouldn't ever be coming round my house ever again.

originaldiv Mon 13-Jul-20 16:19:09

@AttilaTheMeerkat thank you for your insightful post - I did tell DH that I was posting this and later I will show him what you said - I think it will really help him get perspective

When I said 'protective' I meant it in an equal sense - we are best friends and I value and love him so much. Of course if someone was being horrible to him I would say something - especially if it was someone I had invited!

He is very passive - I would be considered the more 'feisty' out of both of us - but sometimes that comes from a place of defending myself from misogynistic men who like belittling women and I don't expect that I should 'have' to do that in my own home - especially not from some little impotent fuckwit who thinks it's gonna go down well. It's the principal - it's his mate! Why the fuck should I get upset - he should have put a stop to it for me. Like I would if it happened to him from one of my friends.

We have had another chat and I feel a lot better now. He isn't letting him come back here and tbh the other guys in the group who are both decent men who respect their wives will probably be motivated by my DH taking a stand on this.

Thanks for all your input - he says he has learned a lot, I understand that he is v conflict averse and that he didn't know what to do in the moment but he is adamant that he will not let me feel like this again. I feel awful getting angry with him because he is such a sweet guy and looks at me like a kicked puppy so it's hard to be angry for long. Sometimes it's necessary though.

OP’s posts: |
PicsInRed Mon 13-Jul-20 16:50:10

Are you quite sure that your husband and the other men in the group aren't up to at least some of what the trouble maker suggests?

The friend is clearly a nasty trouble maker, but your husbands silence is curious. Sometimes trouble makers don't have to tell lies to make trouble. Often some ill timed truths will do the job just as well.

We are known by the company we keep. The trouble maker has described the company and it's fairly dire.

Anydreamwilldo12 Mon 13-Jul-20 17:03:43

Well it's not really a big deal saying the friend isn't welcome back into your home seeing as its was the first time he had been in three years so to me that's not a big show of unity towards you, his wife.
I don't need protected by my husband but I sure as hell know he wouldn't sit back and let some little shit try to insult and belittle me plus swear in front of our kids and loudly insult the neighbours.

I would be furious with your husband, is he scare of this bloke because it certainly sounds like it. He needs some assertiveness training because he sounds like a total pushover. Surely he can see that the friend attitude is absolutely deplorable. Who would want a friend like that, he's just an embarrassment

XiCi Mon 13-Jul-20 17:05:30

One of the most important parts of being in a relationship is having each others backs. My DH would have lashed him out of our house for displaying that twattish behaviour and, although I'm quite capable of standing up for myself, if a friend of his spoke to me like that he would definitely have put a stop to it. Conversely, if a friend of mine was treating DH badly I'd be asking them what the fuck they were playing at. He sounds a complete fucking wimp tbh and I wonder whether you have chosen someone so weak willed and cowardly because you have been in a previous physically abusive relationship. Like from one extreme to another?

rawlikesushi Mon 13-Jul-20 17:14:14

I think that, when he's not with you, your dh is exactly the same.

Why else would he be so impressed by this awful man?

Why else didn't he rush to deny it when he was being accused of similar behaviour?

Why else didn't he shut this man and his abhorrent views down? Because the other guy would've said 'I'm not saying anything you haven't said yourself' that's why.

Yes, your dh is easily led. That's why he's a some feminist with you and something else entirely with his friends.

Nobody decent would seek out the company of that man.

originaldiv Mon 13-Jul-20 17:17:47

@PicsInRed I am as sure as I can be that he's just a trouble maker although of course I've considered what he's saying as potentially true - my experience of my DH is that he doesn't laugh at sexist jokes (in my company at least), he's not a lech in any way either. He doesn't get sent porn or indecent images and is a good man, but obviously I'm not deluded - I am quite sure he hasn't said anything when jokes like that are flying around. Unless he has a split personality and is totally living a lie which I don't think anyone can be certain of but I am as sure as I can be that he is not like that. His other friends come across in the same way also (apart from this tosser)

WRT picking a doormat as a result of an abuser - you might be right there and isn't something I'm necessarily disagreeing with. He is the complete opposite of my ex - non confrontational, kind etc it's just annoying if the trade off for having a nice man is that he's also a doormat?! I don't really want that. He has said that I've taught him a lot about being assertive but ultimately yeah that's what he is. I would rather have a doormat than someone I'm scared of though. He plays a very aggressive sport and I am always surprised when he tells me he got sent off for being too aggressive so it's not that he's a wimp as such around other men.

The other reason I wanted his support is because men like his friend don't listen to women. We're hysterical and emotional and overreact - it's other men that need to educate them. That's the only way toxic masculinity is going to stop.

OP’s posts: |
originaldiv Mon 13-Jul-20 17:19:42

@rawlikesushi I have considered this - I don't know how else to judge him apart from what I am aware of though. He doesn't behave like that in my company certainly

OP’s posts: |
backseatcookers Mon 13-Jul-20 17:24:05

I would expect DH to have nothing to do with a person like this. This man will likely feel like your DH condones his behavior because he has never challenged him about it before and is still his friend. Why is he still his friend and bothering with him? Is he not disgusted by the way his friend behaves?

This.

If my boyfriend didn't challenge the stuff your partners mate was saying I would be so disappointed that I couldn't look at him in the same way.

Replace women with black people. If a man was so disrespectful and abhorrent about black people and your partner didn't say anything to challenge him (especially if you were black!!) would you seriously stay with him?!

Best case scenario he is so weak in his principles that he won't stand up to what is disgusting misogyny. Worst case likely case he jokes along / laughs when you aren't there.

He is choosing to maintain a relationship with this man. This is his choice of friend. Don't you see what that says about him? It's gross.

He's on a night out with him. They go to a strip club. Your partner would say "I couldn't say no to going, they were all going." One of them gets a hand job / blow job while they're there. You think your partner would say it's a bad idea / leave / tell you? His actions say not. If you weren't comfortable with your partner having a private dance and this guy got him one 'as a joke' / ' without him knowing' you think he would stand up to him and say no? Of course not, he's complicit in misogyny by his silence.

Your doesn't need to start a fight, he doesn't even really need to challenge him (as this is who the friend is, rather than an ill informed view he holds) but a decent man who respects women just wouldn't want to hang out with someone like this.

So he's either so weak I couldn't find him attractive or he's so complicit I couldn't find him attractive.

Don't you want more than that from a partner?

backseatcookers Mon 13-Jul-20 17:26:45

He doesn't behave like that in my company certainly

So?! Dickhead, cowardly racists don't say racist things in front of black people.

Cowardly people don't leave the room or challenge racists when racist things are said behind closed doors. Or say 'he's my friend even if I don't agree with his racist comments'.

I would still want nothing to do with either type of person.

Raise your bar, seriously.

Lifeisabeach09 Mon 13-Jul-20 17:38:20

I'd be annoyed with my DH too-for being spineless.
I'd, also, have a chat with dickhead's girlfriend-I feel for her!

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in